Two-Day Kashmir Curfew, Imposed Year After Article 370 Move, Lifted

New Delhi: 

The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Tuesday night lifted the two-day curfew - for August 4 and 5 - that it had imposed Monday evening ahead of the first anniversary of the central government's decision to scrap special status for J&K under Article 370 and split the former state into two union territories.

The decision to lift the curfew, which the Srinagar district magistrate said had been ordered in the Kashmir Valley on information that "separatists and Pakistan-sponsored groups (were) planning to observe August 5 as a Black Day", came after mounting criticism over the restrictions.

Instead of the curfew, the administration has re-emphasised movement restrictions imposed across the region in view of the Covid crisis.

"Pursuant to review of incident-free situation of August 4 and further reports received in this context, the matter has been re-examined and it has been decided to remove restrictions," the ordered signed by the magistrate said.

However, the order also said that shops and business establishments would remain closed and public transport would continue to be suspended, except in the case of essential goods and their supply.

"There shall be complete lockdown in containment and red zones of the district and restrictions on movement of more than 3 persons would be prohibited," the order declared.

The Union Home Secretary, on Tuesday, reviewed the COVID-19 situation in J&K and praised the administration on its management. The Home Secretary stressed on working towards reducing the mortality rate, an officer disclosed.

The union territory of J&K has reported over 22,000 cases so far, of which more than 7,500 are active cases and 407 are deaths linked to the virus.

Ladakh has fared significantly better, reporting only 1,485 cases so far, of which 369 are active cases and seven are deaths.

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